BLOG TOUR: Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb (BOOK REVIEW) || New favourite series right here!

It was early on when I realised I would love this book and it was a great deal thanks to the main characters and their ship – let me tell you that I was screaming for them all the way through the book. Literally every time they had a moment I was right there, having a lot of emotions 😂. To sum it up, I had a great time reading this and I think every one should – if I manage to get at least one person to pick this up this year I’ll be happy! So you should go and add it to your tbr right now if you haven’t already. It’s okay – my review can wait!

Thank you ever so much to TBR and Beyond Tours for selecting me for this blog tour! Here’s the schedule if you want to see who’s posting on other days. I really enjoyed reading this.

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the blog tour company (TBR and Beyond Tours) and the publisher (via Netgalley) in return for a free and honest review and a spot on the blog tour. The summary and book details are taken from Goodreads or The Storygraph; from me reading the book, or from others’ reviews. I try my absolute best to find the cover art/designer but unfortunately I am not always able to do so. The page numbers/audio hours are taken from the version that I’m reading from (if an e-arc, the digital version then). The featured image and other blog tour information (purchase links, author information etc) are provided by TBR and Beyond Tours. Any opinions expressed are my own. This is a spoiler-free review with slight references towards the spoilers, be they plot or characters.

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hqtnkivdnu2fde20wkkvwd29hehbTitle: Seven Faceless Saints
Author: M.K. Lobb
Series: Seven Faceless Saints #1
Number of Pages: 400
Year Published: 2023
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Cover Art/Designer: Sasha Vinogradova
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy ~ Mystery ~ LGBTQ+ characters
Stars: use thisuse thisuse thisuse thisuse this
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Copy: E-arc (Netgalley)
CW/TW: (Provided by TBR and Beyond Tours) Various types of violence (shooting, poisoning, beheading), graphic descriptions of blood/bodies, death of parents/ friends/ siblings, a parent depicted with memory loss/confusion, PTSD and flashbacks, descriptions of war, prejudice, religious intolerance, hallucinations, paranoia, alcoholism, and mentions of self-harm.

In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with a terrifying power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.

Rossana Lacertosa doesn’t believe in saints. After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazia military, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system. Even if she has to pay for it in blood—or face the boy who broke her heart.

Damian Venturi is sworn to protect the city. As the youngest captain of the Palazzo security in history, Damian is expected to be ruthless, strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting a gruesome, never-ending war left Damian with deeper scars than he wants to admit…and too many questions he’s afraid to ask.

When a murderer begins using the city’s slums as a hunting ground, targeting the weak and unprotected, the saints and their disciples are all too happy to look the other way. That is until a disciple ends up in the morgue. Tasked with finding the disciple’s killer, Damian’s investigation leads him to Roz, his childhood friend turned enemy. Together, they will have to put their past feelings aside to find the truth hiding in the pitch-black underbelly of Ombrazia.

As they unravel the mysteries behind the murders, they will discover that there’s something far more sinister—and far less holy—lurking beneath the surface. With darkness closing in and time running out, will Roz and Damian be able to save their city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?

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Straight from the beginning I could tell this book was going to suck me in. Although I had to pause and highlight characters’ names and their Saints if they were disciples; I quickly became accustomed to hearing about the Saints and the way they were integral to the world. Lobb did amazing work with the world-building. It was never forced, most of the world-building was explained to the readers in a natural way. I didn’t feel like she was pushing the world-building on me, the reader, or like I was being forced to understand the world in order to carry on reading. It made sense – in a book with such a big religion you would have have a lot of talk surrounding the religion – Lobb definitely did that in a great way and I can’t wait for the sequel and whatever else she writes.

The writing also really added a lot to my experience and enjoyment of reading it. The writing mixed with the world-building complimented each other well and aided each other so well. I liked learning about the different Saints and disciples and the magic that’s in them – that’s definitely something I want to see more of in the next book. Not that I want the magic system and all the explanations of the Saints to be a bigger plot than the mystery and romance; but definitely more than what we got this time around.

The whole mystery was also done well. I was surprised and didn’t even suspect the culprit – which was a change as usually I figure out the culprit before they’re revealed. I’m not saying that books where I can spot the culprit/part of the plot bad or badly written – just that it’s like a nice surprise when I don’t manage to solve the mystery before it gets solved for me.

I liked how Lobb approached the topic of Saints and their religion and quite often the fealty that comes with that. She managed to be respectful and critical of the topic – which I really enjoyed to see. Speaking as someone’s who’s been raised in a religious family and who is religious – there is criticism to be found with religions and just because a religious person is critical doesn’t mean they are less religious than the next person. I definitely want to see more of the criticism and how different people view the same topic.

I felt for Damian, the one main character. He’s scrutinised a lot by his dad who wants him to be this perfect soldier – so much so that he probably doesn’t even see that Damian is not at all suited to the war front. Which was hard to read because Damian most certainly has PTSD but his father refuses to see it because he just wants a perfect soldier. I have no idea what type of psychological help there is available in Ombrazia, but I hope that in the next book he starts to heal and works through some of his trauma.

Damian was the type of character I didn’t think I would like, just because I didn’t think much of him at the start. But as I carried on reading I realised that I really liked him. I got to know him, his personality, and everything he’s been through. He’s a strong character and I can’t wait to see what Lobb does to him in the next book – how much he has to go through (again), and how much I will be feeling for him. He really does want to help people and that was hard to do when he’s being forced not to do that – to only focus on disciple matters and not help the others.

I loved Roz so much. She was also a strong character – Lobb really knows how to write these type of characters, and I was all here for that. I hope that in the next book she really starts to come into her own, becomes stronger and stands up for injustice even more. I definitely got the vibe that she wanted to but didn’t and I very much hope that’s a plot point for her come the sequel.

Literally every single moment Damian and Roz had together I had feelings for as well. Grinning, angst, etc etc. I loved every bit we got with them and if we don’t have a lot of happy scenes in the next book I will riot (I’m joking because I actually really love angst in my books 😂). There’s also some mutual pining mixed with a good amount of angst – as per usual with those two tropes. The two are very high up on my list of favourite tropes.

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Yes, I know most of me throughout this review is just going “sequel sequel sequel/next book next book”. but I really enjoyed this book and I hope you’ll be interested in picking this book up too! Please feel free to come and tell me if my review has gotten you to pick up this book (even if you were planning on reading it and my review just spurred you on). I love talking about books and would love to know if/when I’ve gotten someone to read a certain book!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

M K LobbAbout the Author: M.K. Lobb is a fantasy writer with a love of all things dark— be it literature, humour, or general aesthetic. She grew up in small-town Ontario and studied political science at both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa. She now lives by the lake with her partner and their cats. When not reading or writing, she can be found at the gym or contemplating the harsh realities of existence.

Her debut novel SEVEN FACELESS SAINTS will be published February 7, 2023 by Little, Brown (Hachette). The sequel, DISCIPLES OF CHAOS, will follow in early 2024. M. K. is represented by Claire Friedman at InkWell Management.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


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